If you want to know the size of a single company in Microsoft Dynamics AX or which tables consumes the largest space in the database, we were used to run the Size of company accounts report. Initially you cannot find this report in the menu structure of the new cloud version of Microsoft Dynamics AX. This post will tell you how you can run this report and how to find or run reports using AX URL parameters.
When you want to work with the new Microsoft Dynamics AX, you have some options to deploy the environment. You can choose between deploying an environment on Azure or download a local machine. The purpose of the local machine is mainly a development box, but can also be used for demonstrations (with some limitations). The local environment always contains a predefined demonstration database. What if you want to start with an empty AX database or test with configurations that will be used by the customer? Continue reading and you will know how to start with another database.
In my latest blog I showed you the options you have when it comes to updating your AX system. If you haven’t read that one yet check it out here. In this blog we will focus on the Stable Evergreen situation. This is the environment where you have an AX system that is customized to your business requirement. Once this system is delivered you decide not to do any updates whatsoever because you are content with your system right now and why change a winning team, right?
How to decide if you could use a Stable Evergreen
It is best do decide whether or not you want a stable evergreen system as early as possible, preferably before the development of your new system. Base your decision on your future plans. Are new projects coming up? Are there going to be big changes in the coming years? If the next few years seem to be steady and you see no major changes coming up, a Stable Evergreen might be the right choice for you because it can save you a lot of time and money.
Saving a Million on your AX system
A simple calculation shows that someone, who was an AX starter at Rel2009’s introduction, spent on average €1.305.000 on keeping the system up to date. This amount contains 9 CU’s and 1 major update + all the costs of implementing etc (calculation can be provided upon request).
But what if you hadn’t spent that money on updating? What if you would’ve just kept that first system operational? You would’ve saved €1.305.000 and still have a system that operates to your satisfaction. No, you don’t have that brand new and fancy system but it works right? That’s all that matters. Besides, because there were no major changes you could’ve documented every requirement. You know everything about the system so you know exactly what you want for when it is time to finally get a new system. Also, the money you saved in those years can now be used to implement that new AX system completely adjusted to your new needs and wishes.
One of the other advantages of not updating your system is that for your employees nothing changes. No new buttons, no new options. So they get used to it and learn how to use it as efficient as possible, without having to worry if they are doing it right.
Eventually not updating your system has a lot of advantages. It is not for every company. But please, next time you are planning on getting a new system think about this and you might do yourself a huge favor. Do you really need those updates? Feel free to contact us for more information.
Please do share your thoughts on updates, we want to hear your opinion. Also don`t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest Dynamics AX news straight to your inbox!
In my last blog “Are those SLA’s a Fool’s Bargain?” I explained the service level agreement, which you signed with your implementing partner after you implemented a new system. However, this partner will tell you that system updates are necessary, but that`s not always the case. So let`s see what options do you have. (meer…)
In earlier versions of Microsoft Dynamics AX people were used to use the right-click menu in case it was needed to rename the primary key of a record. This post will inform you about renaming records in the current version of Microsoft Dynamics AX (aka AX7). (meer…)
Recently I started working with a new local VM containing Microsoft Dynamics AX with Update 1. When setting up some users and roles I found out that the demonstration data contains some rubbish in the security roles. This post will inform you about the issue and how to cleanup orphaned security roles. (meer…)
If you google pictures with employees you see lots of smiling, handshaking, high-fiving, applauding and motivated people. It looks like they are enjoying what they are doing. Is this representing the reality of everyday life? Probably not. (meer…)
“Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane.” It’s Kaya Consulting ! your superhero ready to fight villains.
“In my 19 years of implementing ERP systems, absolutely none”, I admitted and my colleagues confirmed this. “So why do you try to conform to something that is actually not normal?”, the consultant asked. “Because that is what the customers want to hear: ‘Vanilla ERP system’, ‘Cloud’, ‘Agile’, ‘Fixed price’, these are all the current buzzwords”, said my sales director, on which the consultant replied “So you are consciously deceiving your customer?”, the consultant asked.
Every half a year Kaya Consulting is updating its strategy using a business model canvas in which we are discussing our value propositions and customer segments etc. So our discussion above became a bit off topic, but interesting none the less;
– We have emerging trends of cloud
– We want increasing access via mobile devices
– We have emerging new market segments
– And there is the internet of things going on
So who are those customers? What is our value proposition? What does it take to be able to deliver? Which are our channels? These were all key questions part of the theoretical model but it all boiled down to a more practical question that started the discussion above: “have you ever implemented an ERP system without any modifications?”
Does vanilla ERP exist?
“So why not? Every customer is asking for it! So why is this not possible?”, was the follow up question from the consultant. Well let’s see, to start:
– Every customer has its own identity. Every document will need to breathe that identity, so that by itself means we need to modify the layout of the reports.
– Every customer is doing business with other vendors and customers. And if we want to automate the exchange of information then we are talking about creating interfaces! Even EDI doesn’t work since there are different EDI standards, which is a paradox right there.
Reasons of ERP system modification
But the real reasons most of the time are:
– That company processes cannot be changed to a standard ERP system, sometimes because of statutory regulations or simply because of the situation of the company, whatever that might be.
– Adapting ERP systems is simply more efficient or cheaper.
– And most of the time the business process is simply perfectly fitting the company`s needs, so why change it to something less effective just so you don’t have to change the ERP system?
“So the conclusion is that the normal customer, with the normal set of employees with normal company procedures in a normal country with normal customers and normal vendors doesn’t exist?”, the consultant asked. “If it would exist, I think that it would be very normal for every normal person to start a normal business and compete”, the CEO of Kaya Consulting confirmed.
“So there is your challenge: ‘Do you dare to tell the customer that they are far from normal? And that modifying the ERP system to the customer`s need is a normal thing to do?’, the consultant asked. “We have to! everything else is deception”, the sales director stated.
What do you think? Add your comment in the section below and don`t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.
ˈsan(d)baɡ’ / verb: deliberately underperform in a race or competition to gain an unfair advantage
“You have the solution to this issue? So you were sandbagging us?”, the ERP manager said with a dark face while accusing me. “If you are open to an explanation, I can explain”, I offered, but sadly at that time he was not. And in hindsight I now know why…
Ability to execute
A few projects ago I was part of a large team of consultants and after a successful implementation of the finance module of Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 we then were charged with implementing the warehouse and logistic modules. However, we got stuck with a logistic procedure we didn’t know how to implement.
The solution was regarding the catch weight principle. However, at that time AX2012 was new and not one consultant had implemented nor was familiar with that concept. Which resulted in long meetings about a concept with a lot of Dynamics AX experts and logistic experts from the customer. Being in the meeting reminded me of a comedy named “See no evil, hear no evil”; the blind one and the deaf one trying to explain each other how the world works. So yes, with 15 years of Dynamics AX implementation experience, I didn’t know what Catch Weight functionality did in AX nor was I or the other consultants familiar with the principle. And yes time was wasted on architecting a solution that was not needed since there was standard functionality available.
Gartner did an analysis about ERP for product-centric midmarket companies in which Microsoft Dynamics AX was positioned as a visionary, but not a leader purely because nor Microsoft nor the partners have the ability to execute: “The growth of the market for the product goes faster than the creation of enough capacity of high-skilled business and functional people to serve customers globally. And as a partner we know this is true. Microsoft is leaving recruitment and education to the partners. Partners are reluctant to invest since there is this looming ‘certainty’ that your employees will be contacted at least twice a year by a recruiter.
Form your own project team
To bring both stories together: there is a lack of Dynamics AX resources and those resources are scattered throughout the market. A few facts
* Most large Microsoft Partners have senior and junior consultants. Most likely in a 1:6 ratio
* The majotity of boutique partners do have very good senior consultants. Most likely in a 1:2 ratio
* ‘Good’ partners have ‘bad’ consultants and ‘bad’ partners have ‘good’ consultants.
* Most freelancers are medior or senior consultants, otherwise they wouldn’t freelance themselves.
* Some freelancers only have one loyalty: Money.
* Employees you are grooming will get poached, eventually.
* And consultants with >15 years of Dynamics AX experience don’t necessarily need to be aware of all the functionalities Microsoft is introducing.
So take all this as granted; if you want the right resources in your project team you have to select them yourselves. You do this when you hire them in your company, so why not do this when forming a project group. Especially if this project group is going to work on automating your business processes.
In my opinion it is quite ok to request resumes and tell the partner you don’t want certain individuals on certain positions. In my opinion it is also quite ok to tell partners that you want contractors or other consultants from other partners on your projects since they simply have better industry or functional knowledge or simply more experience.
Kaya Consulting, independent experienced consultants
Hiring Kaya Consulting consultants is of course another good way of securing the right consultants on your projects. And if we can’t deliver the right consultant we will tell you so.
But it is true; if you call tomorrow we probably cannot help you, since we are busy on other projects. And once we accepted a project we will never abandon it until successfully delivered. Because of this attitude we can proudly say that we have never been part of a failed project.
Contact us for more details and don`t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to receive our latest blogs!